Violence and Sex in the Media
Jennings Bryant Dolf Zillmann University of Alabama
Perhaps no area of mass communication research has greater social implications than that on how violence and sex are portrayed in the media. This chapter examines both media violence and sexually explicit media fare as they affect the viewer. The chapter begins by looking at the role of violence in the media, reasons for that role, and the effect of violent media fare on individuals and on society. We then focus on the effects of sexually explict media. The methods employed in conducting research in media sex and violence are then explored, and a sample study is provided.
More research has been conducted on media violence than on any other media effects topic; some scholars estimate upwards of 3,000 studies ( Huston et al., 1992). Gunter ( 1994) addressed the origins of the concern manifest in this robust research tradition:
Concern about media violence has its roots in the unease that has historically been expressed whenever a new entertainment or communications medium that appeals to the